Friday, March 10, 2006

ESRI Live Training Seminars: Second Campus Event

On Feb. 23, I organized the second campus showing of an ESRI Training Seminar (webcast).

The first gathering of geo-geeks was held in January, and I followed up on that success last month. We did not have as many folks attending (only 5), but I believe that with the semester well underway by the end of February, students had other things on their mind.

The live training provided by ESRI last month was not relevant to our GIS users, so I selected from their nice archive the following seminar: Getting Started with ArcObjects in ArcGIS. Now, this older seminar focuses on ArcGIS 8.3, but I have always found it useful for providing a nice overview of the object model diagrams and how to access the various interfaces.

It went off very well. Students attended from biology (1), urban planning (2), computer science (1), and landscape architecture (1). Now, the best result from this showing was due to the landscape architecture student. A few days after the seminar, I was invited by the student's Landscape Architecture Studio IV professor to come and give his class a GIS demo (BI for you librarians out there...). I held the demo last night in a lab in the Architecture Building loaded with ArcGIS 9, so this was a hands-on demo. I was slated to present for 1 to 1.5 hours, but high enthusiasms and questions from the students kept me there for a full 2 hours. It was a very successful interaction with a new professor and new students that I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to work with. (It sure is going to be busy this Saturday during my open office hours...)

As far as classrooms go, these seminars are shown in one of the classrooms in the library with 27 PCs, all loaded with ArcGIS 9 and two mounted projectors. This way the screens can display the video and the room's speakers can pump out the audio, while everyone can either follow along on their own PCs (muted) or even play around with the concepts during the seminar.

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